Sheffield cottage sale is ‘attack on Graves Park’

Friends of Graves Park members and supporters outside Cobnar Cottage in Graves Park which they are trying to save

Friends of Graves Park members and supporters outside Cobnar Cottage in Graves Park which they are trying to save

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Campaigners fighting to save a historic cottage in Graves Park say the planned sale must be stopped – otherwise it will be a green light to sell more park land.

Sheffield Council is planning to sell the 17th century Cobnar Cottage, on Cobnar Road, Norton Lees, in an auction on January 26, as the property is empty and run-down.

Cobnar Cottage

Cobnar Cottage

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But campaigners say it is simply a ploy to break covenants protecting park land – and fear the sale will lead to more assets being lost.

A petition to stop the sale has already gathered 4,000 signatures since it was launched on Monday.

Caroline Dewar, chair of Friends of Graves Park, said: “This is an attack on Graves Park. The council seem determined to break covenants protecting the land.

“The council will promise that the money will be put to grand schemes in the park. But it won’t. The current park budget will be used elsewhere and they will use the sale money to maintain the park.”

She added: “Once this has been sold, what next? The Pavilion next door? You can only sell something once.”

A spokesman for Sheffield City Council said the cottage actually sits outside the park boundary.

They said: “The council expects to invest around £80,000 in improving the park from the proceeds of the cottage sale.

“We have formally consulted the Charity Commission regarding the sale of the cottage, [which] has fully supported the council’s legal right, as charity trustees, to sell the cottage. The Friends Group and local politicians are highly misleading in their claims that the sale of the cottage will lead to further sales of park land. We could not have been clearer that this is absolutely not the case.”